If your virtual team has little to no travel, five core factors drive a virtual team to be inspired, engaged, and connected on an interpersonal level when people are remote from each other. Here are five best practices that virtual leaders must do right when people are NOT face-to-face.
- Align your virtual team behind the “moment of truth,” not just vision, mission, and goals. Stop micromanaging tasks! Instead, raise and focus your team’s energy and passion to deliver a consistent “moment of truth” that pleases your virtual team’s customers, internally or externally. Future blog posts will tell you more about this proven success factor that transforms work into joy and delivers consistent, excellent results when the leader can’t be there to supervise the work.
- Vigorously collaborate in weekly web conference meetings. Is everyone is multi-tasking on other things during your weekly conference call or web conference meeting? Multi-tasking in online meetings is out of control today. It’s the #1 symptom of collaboration failure. Connecting once a week through an audio bridge or a web conference link is not collaboration. Collaboration is the magic that happens when the team uses its collective knowledge, perspectives, and insights to create something unique and better together. The surprise is that virtual collaboration can be BETTER than face-to-face collaboration about the work. Knowing how to operate technology isn’t enough. Virtual leaders must learn how to drive a richly collaborative meeting where team members choose to interact with each other instead of something else.
- Be deliberate to continually create trust by showing virtual team members that you care and are looking out for them. Don’t give all of the plumb assignments and opportunities to the team members that you know best or that work at your location. As a virtual leader, a key part of your role is to look out for every person on your team, near and far. Take steps every day to get to know those that don’t have face-to-face access to you so you become confident in their abilities and take action in their best interest.
- Establish a communication heartbeat to stay in touch and build trust, when remote. When people work virtually, it’s easy to forget to communicate. The business office has always been a very social place where people create bonds with one another. In a remote setting, that social side of working together is overlooked and unattended to. To fill this chasm, successful virtual leaders and virtual teams are deliberate to take concrete steps each week to grow trust and sense of team virtually.
- Establish a conflict resolution plan, remotely. Every team experiences conflict. In virtual teams, trust is typically mor3e fragile than face-t-face teams. Therefore, even seemingly simple things can cause huge misunderstandings that make your virtual team’s work come to a crashing halt. The challenge is to address conflict early and effectively in a remote setting. Having a remote conflict resolution plan, however, gives your team an effective process to raise difficult issues without having to travel.
The five “super” factors virtual teams must do well—or fail! | My Webinar Guru